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Recent Moves By Grocery Alliance Address Global Challenges

The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) recently aligned itself with five other food and consumer-product makers worldwide to share knowledge and promote efficient business practices internationally -- just one in a series of moves the organization recently has undertaken to help its members compete in a global market. Joining forces for International Brands Alliance, in addition to GMA, are Brazilian Food Industry Assn., Australian Food & Grocery Council, European Brands Assn., Food & Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada, and Grocery Manufacturers of South Africa. "The rationale for the Alliance is the fact that sourcing, supply-chain management, retailing, branding, and media are more and more global," says Alain Galaski, director-general of the European Brands Assn. "Our industries will benefit from sharing best practices and participating in joint projects." On a more local level, last year GMA formed the North American Alliance with several trade associations in Canada and Mexico to address environmental issues, labeling, food safety standards, investment barriers, and tariff policies. More recent is the association's hiring of a trade policy strategist to execute its trade objectives in international forums, and its participation in another alliance -- the U.S. Alliance for Trade Expansion (US Trade), formed in April. US Trade is a coalition of organizations that seeks to promote the benefits of free trade. The coalition plans to hold a series of trade education events across the country leading up to the World Trade Organization Ministerial in Seattle in November.

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